Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. All bad times that are survived are transformed into better times with the passage of time. A player going after a teammate in the ugly waning days of an ugly season becomes the basis of a pretty great nickname during the course of what it turning out to be a pretty darn nice season for the Washington Nationals.
Last year, a we all know, Jonathan Papelbon choked Bryce Harper in the dugout after a week or two of escalating tensions and back biting. It was the stuff of suspensions and acrimony at the time, but now that the Nats are winning, it’s much better. To wit: Jayson Werth, after his game-winning hit yesterday afternoon, was being interviewed on the field and talked about his teammates mobbing him:
On-field interviewer: “Man, you got battered out there. What type of damage did they do to you in the outfield?”
Werth: “Well, I knew I was in trouble when I saw The Strangler coming at me.”
Interviewer: “Who’s The Strangler?”
Werth: “You know, The D.C. Strangler”
Given that Papelbon, who Werth just helped vulture a win given that he gave up a homer in the top of the ninth, was leading the mob, it was pretty clear who he meant. And it’s a pretty fantastic nickname given how easily it can be transformed to “The D.C. Choker” if he blows a playoff game.
Winning fixes everything.